December 2, 2011 was the 40th anniversary of the formation of the UAE (United Arab Emirates). Things you need to know: this country is only 40 years old. It formed from seven tribal states into one super rich country sitting on loads of oil. The guy who united them all is very impressive (late UAE … Continue reading My first foreign National Day
When you live, well, not, in the USA, celebrating Thanksgiving can be awkward and downright depressing. The first Thanksgiving abroad is the worst: you haven't adopted new traditions yet and the old ones just don't work. But most people try to force it anyway. The only way around this is to have a big neighbor potluck on … Continue reading Thanksgiving in the middle east
This is a guest post written by my outstanding (and oh so patient) husband. He was personally invited by one of his high school students to visit the family's Bedouin style camel farm in the desert of the Arabian Peninsula. The time finally came, I جيمس والدو (James Waldo) was invited to be the guest … Continue reading Camel “Farm”
While we lived in the desert, we had the chance to attend the International Falconry Festival right in our town. Things you need to know: Falcons are the ultimate companion/hunter/pet in the United Arab Emirates. Etihad Airlines allows falcons in the cabin with their owners. These birds are carefully bred, expensive to buy, and treasured … Continue reading International Falconry Festival
How to drive in a roundabout.
On one of our road trips to Oman,we drove two hours straight into the desert from Muscat. Our minivan was crammed full of people. Our goal was to catch a real-live, once-a-week, no-tourists-here, souq in Sinaw. It was everything we dreamed of. "Souq" means "market." These are kind of like farmer's markets in the USA, but … Continue reading A desert souq
Traveling to Muscat, Oman usually involves a few trips back in time. On one visit, we got up a little after dawn, and headed to the shore for the local fresh fish market (market = souq, pronounced "sook"). In the crisp morning air, clutching our tea in styrofoam cups, walking in the sand between straw mats, … Continue reading Oman Fish Souq
What it's like to live in a new country.